Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/69

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65
SMALL COLLEGES

Christian ministry; it neglected an important side of the intellect, gave an imperfect culture and left the man with a false conception of his acquirements. The curriculum should be designed to accord with modern conditions, should deal more with what is around us and less with mere abstractions; more with matters exercising the power of reason and less with such petty niceties as linguistic problems. Such a course of study, recognizing the many-sidedness of the intellect and compulsory throughout, would be the ideal gymnasium in which to prepare a young man for undertaking professional studies or for assuming the responsibilities of business life.

This work can be done only in a large college equipped with real libraries and laboratories, where the man may study under real professors, not jaded by teaching elementary subjects to academy pupils; where there is no mingling of college students and preparatory pupils in the classroom or on the campus; where the child who can do little more than read will not be "in college." A restricted, stringent curriculum would repel the slothful and indifferent, and fewer teachers would be required. Living salaries could be paid even with present endowments and the proverbial apprenticeship to poverty would not be necessary to enable a professor to live on his pay. The universities should confine themselves to graduate work. They should admit to their professional schools only those who have a college degree, earned not in correspondence schools or in college annexes, but by actual attendance at an institution maintaining the required standard. The country is not suffering from a famine of lawyers, physicians or even of clergymen, and the time is ripe for raising the requirements in all professional schools.

It is true that this procedure would have serious consequences. A not inconsiderable number of "small colleges" would find their degrees without value; they would lose their hold on the innocent people who have wasted money on them and their requiem would not be delayed. There would not be enough graduates to fill the numerous professional schools and only the best equipped would survive. But there is reason to believe that in each case the public grief would be neither widespread nor inconsolable.